Ryuhei Shibata (born on Tuesday, 1988) has been making artworks at Atelier Yu (Sakai, Osaka) since 2007.
He has an obsession with numbers and writes down various kinds of numbers from his daily life such as people’s birthdays, lengths of songs, shopping receipts in his drawings. As a part of his drawing process, Shibata uses a calculator and rapidly punches in numbers. His intention of using a calculator and the equations he uses are unclear to others, but it may be his way of double checking his thoughts and the information he perceives.
Every carefully-drawn number in Shibata’s drawing has a significance. Whatever the drawing materials and the mediums he uses, his motifs are always numbers. He writes down numbers on any materials he finds around him, such as notebooks, writing pads, back sides of calendars, and so on.
When Shibata hears someone’s birthday, he can immediately say which day it falls and memorize it. He is a big fan of a Japanese idol girl group called AKB48 and remembers the lengths of their songs and particular chorus parts. He double checks those numbers with his calculator with his idiosyncratic system, and makes drawings with them. The numbers in his drawings can also refer to birthdays of his family and celebrities, or time and dates of his favorite TV shows.
Shibata’s drawings, filled with overwhelming amounts of numbers taken from his memory, express his pure joy for art making.
⎯Hiroko Mizuno (former staff member from Atelier Yu)